A few of you have been asking about Venus!
Venus (right with ChaCha), was a hardworking and opinionated team leader. Aliy describes her as a sassy spitfire!
Her lineage has Jeff King’s Yuski as her father and an Erhart sprint dog named Cream as her mother.
Venus and ChaCha won the Copper Basin 300 together while in lead and raced the Iditarod in tandem as well. As half sisters, Venus and ChaCha had a wonderful bond.
For years the respective puppies of these Grand Dames were the main leaders at SP Kennel. Venus was Mom of the “Spanish/Mexican” Litter of Quito, Nacho, Chica, Bonita and Paco. Now, their grandpuppies are taking over the reins. It is fun to watch how the family of SP Kennel dogs continues to grow and blossom.
Sometimes genetics are passed on as spitting images. Here is Venus (lower left) and her daughter, Bonita (lower right.) Her other offspring bear no resemblance what-so-ever!
A funny story from Iditarod 2012 – SP Kennel Pit Crew was picking up dropped dogs in Anchorage and Bonita had been dropped in Kaltag so they had known that she would would be the next to arrive. When Wendy and my mom went to pick her up and the Iditarod volunteer asked: “Are you here to get “Venus?” and my mom just instinctively said yes. Mom had known Venus for many years as one of SP Kennel’s Super Stars but, Venus hadn’t raced with me since 2008 and Wendy had never known Venus. So Wendy said we don’t have a “Venus”, we are looking for a “Bonita”. Apparently, in all of my ramblings in Kaltag, I had confused the veterinarian terribly about the name of the dog that I was actually dropping. But, there sat Bonita!
Venus passed away in 2010 and she overlooks the kennel in her final resting place. Good girl Venus.